1019: First Post

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 1019)
Jump to: navigation, search
First Post
'Nuh-uh! We let users vote on comments and display them by number of votes. Everyone knows that makes it impossible for a few persistent voices to dominate the discussion.'
Title text: 'Nuh-uh! We let users vote on comments and display them by number of votes. Everyone knows that makes it impossible for a few persistent voices to dominate the discussion.'

[edit] Explanation

Many news websites allow users to post comments on an article. The intention is that users can debate the stance(s) or implication(s) made by the article. On most sites, comments are displayed in chronological order. This puts the oldest comments at the top and newest at the bottom.

There are many pitfalls to allowing comments, but this comic refers to one in particular: most users are too busy to read more than just the top few comments. Therefore, if you were able to control the content of those comments, your opinions would be the ones that the majority of users read. If you pay people to do nothing but read the site, you ensure that they will be the first ones to see the article and that their comments (that you pay them to write) will be at the top of the page. In this scenario, the comments being posted appear to convey a particular political belief. The advantage of this is, according to Randall, that it would be much cheaper to employ a college student to perform that task than pay a website for an advertisement. Also, the fact that it is a comment posted by another reader would make it seem as though the opinion was coming from the general population and not a politician or company, as an advertisement would imply.

The title text refers to Reddit's conversation threading system which allows users to vote comments up or down and then sorts them by the resulting "karma score" (total up-votes minus total down-votes). The pitfall here is that the same control can be exerted. Simply post your opinion on the matter using an account that can't be traced to you and then have the 5 students create a large number of dummy accounts that all vote your opinion up, maintaining its position at the top of the page.

The comic's title refers to a once-common form of online posturing where the first user to see the article will comment "First post" or even just "First". The intent is that everyone else see that they were there first and, therefore, must be somehow better than you.

[edit] Transcript

[A bar graph with two bars. The first bar is much taller than the second. It is marked '$1,500,000', and below the x-axis, is labelled "Cost to buy an ad on every story on a major news site every day until the election. The second bar is much shorter, marked "$200,000', and labelled "Cost to pay five college students $20/hour to camp the site 24/7 and post the first few comments the moment a story goes up, giving you the last word in every article and creating an impression of peer consensus.]
The problem with posting comments in the order they're submitted.
Comment.png add a comment!

Discussion

Consistent posting order . . . .


With a Wiki, you can edit the posting order any way you want, there's no reason you have to add your comments to the bottom Blaisepascal (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

First!! (ok, bad joke...)--B. P. (talk) 19:36, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I personally prefer seeing comments in chronological order, especially if the respondents reply to each other. I find it very annoying to see the reply before I've had a chance to read the original. The current comment system on Slate (where not only do new comments appear first, the page defaults to auto-updating, so the comments move down the page as you are trying to read them) is especially horrible. Blaisepascal (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I prefer threaded discussions. Chronological is close enough for short discussions, but threaded makes it so much easier to find read all the replies a comment got. (Yes, I know I'm replying to a year-old post.) gijobarts (talk) 07:06, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


. . . . is overrated. 74.213.186.41 17:01, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


I have the same interpretation as the current explanation, yet the "Incomplete" text says there are other interpretations. What are they? Smperron (talk) 15:52, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?